Counting Down to Engage! Expo’s Exploration of the
Evolution of Play (and New Business Opportunities)
In just over two weeks, Toy Industry Association (TIA) President
Carter Keithley will join with Joseph Olin, president of the Academy of
Interactive Arts and Sciences and Timothy Chang, principal of Northwest
Venture Partners, to kick off the Games, Technology and Toys track of the Engage Conference and Expo that will be held
Sept 22-23, 2010 in Santa Clara, California. A parallel track will be
held on “Virtual Goods.” Across both tracks, attendees will
have the opportunity to network and gain insights on the myriad links
between and among toys, video games and Silicon Valley.
“The ‘Games, Technology and Toys’ track will cover
business models, design, and development and investment issues
surrounding social games, mobile games, virtual worlds and more,”
explained Christopher Sherman, executive director of Engage Digital and
Expo organizer. “The ‘Virtual Goods’ track
covers what developers need to know about leveraging virtual goods, and
will cover social games, Facebook applications, virtual worlds and
Led by Chris Kohler, Editor of GameLife at Wired.com, the
unique Games, Technology and Toys keynote will engage
Keithley, Olin and Chang in a candid discussion that will span the
evolution of markets in the age of the smart phones, social networks and
the digital consumer. Later in the conference, featured speaker
Peter Vesterbacka, head of North America Operations for Finnish
developer Rovio (creaters of the iPhone hit “Angry Birds,”
which has reached 6.5 million downloads), will discuss how Rovio plans
to turn Angry Birds into a powerhouse entertainment franchise.
David Steward, director of product at Playdom – one of a small
group of developers that has created games that have reached millions of
daily active users on Facebook within days of launch – will
present a detailed case study of their top title, Social City.
In addition to the keynote and featured presentations, names familiar
to the toy industry will be among the dozens of speakers at the event. Reyne
Rice, TIA toy trend specialist, will share an overview of the trends and
innovations affecting today’s youth marketplace for toys, games,
and entertainment; Anita Frazier, industry analyst for toys and games at
The NPD Group will discuss the changing landscape for toys and games;
and Sean McGowan, senior analyst for leisure and lifestyle at Needham
& Company will view regarding the toy industry and where it is
heading. Armen Mkrtchyan, technology manager for toys and consumer
electronics of Disney Consumer Products will review how his organization
plans to standardize web-connected toys and Cynthia Neiman, vice
president of marketing and business development for Mattel Digital
Network will discuss the launch of Monster High as a case study of how
to leverage digital to help launch a tween-targeted franchise.
Earlybird registration has been extended until
September 10th. Toy News Tuesday readers can save 15% off the All Access
Pass by using the discount code TIAVIP when registering online.
Everyone in attendance will also receive a free copy of the Branded Virtual Goods Report.